How does a show receive an Audience LemonMeter rated certificate? With 10 audience reviews!
A show receives a LemonMeter rating with 3 reviews but only gets certified after 10 reviews. Why? Because it takes a lot more reviews then just your friends or family to make a show Sweet. We want producers and production participants to encourage audience reviews, so they can get an honest feedback, which would help their show grow. And when a show receives 10+ audience reviews, we reward those productions with a certificate because they encouraged their audiences to get involved, regardless of the outcome of the LemonMeter rating.
So we celebrate these shows and we want to give them recognition and hopefully get more audiences into their seats.
CONGRATULATIONS TO THESE 2019 FRINGE PRODUCTIONS, THAT RECEIVED 10+ AUDIENCE REVIEWS:
As of this post, the critics and the audiences have spoken, resulting in almost 99 Hollywood Fringe productions receiving a SWEET #LemonMeter rating and 19 Fringe productions receiving #DoubleSWEET ratings (both critics and audience members agreeing on a sweet production).
It takes three reviews from critics or three reviews from the audience to generate a #LemonMeter rating.
The Better Lemons Fringe Audience and Critics Choice Awards, as well as the DoubleSweet Awards are based on the number of reviews submitted before the time of publication.
The shows with the most reviews receive the Audience and the Critics Choice Awards. The Awards are based on the number of reviews, regardless of the #LemonMeter rating of Sweet, Sweet and Sour, or Sour.
CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL THESE WINNERS who have registered their shows on Better Lemons and encouraged audiences and critics to voice their opinion about their show, regardless of the outcome!
Theatrical shows registered on the Better Lemons calendar, including Hollywood Fringe Festival Encore! Producers and Best of Broadwater Award recipients. For more shows visit our Calendar. For shows with a LemonMeter rating, visit our LemonMeter page.
FERTILE: A Conversation About the Expectation of Procreation
"WINNER Producers' Encore Award & NOMINEE Best Solo Performance 2019 Hollywood Fringe Festival!
Jenny has a plan. A plan to get pregnant. Everyone says, time is running out - she just turned 35, after all. So, when those pesky urine tests keep coming back negative, Jenny decides to take action to fix the problem. That's when she runs into real problems - and real questions about fertility AND motherhood. As Jenny faces the world of “mom options” – egg freezing, in-vitro, adoption, and more – the conversation about the expectation heats up. Taking into account a whirlwind of outside opinions from her friends, her doctors, a beloved neighbor – and even God – Jenny must ultimately look within to discover what motherhood means to her, what it means to be Fertile."
"'Love, Madness and Somewhere in Between' is a no holds barred glimpse into a mystical journey filled with love, pain, insanity, and redemption. Scattered along the way is a sprinkling of ironic comic commentary that can only come from a true survivor. “Jimmy” is not so much a hero but more a human being traversing an abusive childhood, a descent into alcoholism and finally plunging into a world of fantastical personifications which dwell amidst humanity's darkest sins. Will closure, forgiveness, and healing come in the unlikely form of the “angel warriors” – patients on the pediatric cancer ward of Children's Hospital? Does Pure Love, in fact, transform and redeem, or are some lives beyond salvation? The show had its world premiere at Theatre West on January 27th, 2019. It ran 6 performances at Hollywood Fringe 2019 and won the Encore! Producers' Award. The show has been extended for three more performances."
"Lisa Verlo performs HOLLYWOODN'T a solo show and personal journey across Hollywood's unsettling sexual landscape, directed by and developed with Jessica Lynn Johnson. A musical memoir told with candor and insight into the life of an actress before women dared to speak up. With original songs co-written with Frank Simes, Musical Director for The Who, Lisa Verlo brings humor and a light heart to a heavy subject. Creative visuals and video projections add to the multimedia recounting of her experiences on the casting couches of LA. Hollywoodn't was featured, on Wednesday, February 13, as part of SOLOFEST 2019 at the Whitefire Theatre, the largest solo theatre festival on the West Coast."
"While on a first date, Stacy's date innocently asks her if she wants red or white wine. This “trick” question immediately sets off a tsunami of Stacy's insecurities, fueled by a history of being shot down after speaking her mind. In the instant it takes to answer that “red or white?” question, Stacy takes us on a hilarious journey of her failed relationships with men, starting in the fifth grade, when she beat her first boyfriend at wall ball during recess. After that he broke up with her. So begins an unintentionally competitive pattern with men that whenever Stacy wins at life, she loses at love. With both sides of Stacy's psyche weighing in like a comical Greek chorus, Stacy tries to figure out what men really want in a women before she answers that all important first date question, 'Would you like red or white wine?'"
"Lisa Verlo performs HOLLYWOODN'T a solo show and personal journey across Hollywood's unsettling sexual landscape, directed by and developed with Jessica Lynn Johnson. A musical memoir told with candor and insight into the life of an actress before women dared to speak up. With original songs co-written with Frank Simes, Musical Director for The Who, Lisa Verlo brings humor and a light heart to a heavy subject. Creative visuals and video projections add to the multimedia recounting of her experiences on the casting couches of LA. Hollywoodn't was featured, on Wednesday February 13, as part of SOLOFEST 2019 at the Whitefire Theatre, the largest solo theatre festival on the West Coast."
The following are more winners of the Hollywood Fringe Festival, including the Sponsored Awards and Fringe Runway.
Now that the Hollywood Fringe Festival has technically come to a close, here are awards that provide additional opportunities through the Encore! Producers Awards and the Best of Broadwater Award which provide an avenue for shows to extend through July, August, and beyond, to see the shows you might have missed.
The Unleashed Award is given to the ensemble production who unleashes their production with a strong focus on telling the story and the winner receives a certificate, a dog collar and tag engraved with the name of the show, the award and the year, award laurels for social media use, and shout outs on the Theatre Unleashed social media sites.
The 2Cents Distinctive Voices Award recognizes an artist/team of artists who prove themselves as a true auteur. The winning production will demonstrate unique perspective, fresh interpretation and defined approach, providing a one of a kind experience of unexpected storytelling. The winner will receive a coveted engraved 2Cents Piggy.
Aunt Lyla’s Fave Fringe Flyer
Matt: The Gathering
Aunt Lyla’s Fave Fringe Flyer recognizes superb flyer design and the winner(s) receive an award plague showcasing the winning flyer.
Fight The Power Award is granted for performance, writing, direction combined "to create a powerful piece that moves the needle in social justice, inclusiveness, normalization of reality, and forward-thinking art." Winners receive a custom ‘Fight the Power’ trophy.
No Room In The Green Room Award
Borracho: Spanish For Drunken Bum
MB Stage Productions No Room In The Green Room Award "goes to those who like to challenge themselves to have a full audience and an even fuller stage." Winner(s) are awarded a trophy and recognition on MB Stage Productions, LLC’s website, social media and digital laurels.
O Face Award For Orgasmic Achievement In Theatre: “Most Orgasmic Performance”
Macy Idzakovich – Flower Society
The O Face Award For Orgasmic Achievement In Theatre: 'Most Orgasmic Performance' Award singles out one production "for forging a connection between artist, audience and the divine, bringing all three together in an explosive theatrical experience that transcends convention and can only be regarded as 'Orgasmic.'" A 7th Annual O Face Award statuette is presented to the winner.
The ShoWorks Don’t Wait. Create! Award is awarded to "writers and creators who develop their own opportunities by producing original content and pushing the creative envelope from 'page to stage.'” The winner receives this 3rd Annual award statuette.
Soaring Solo Artist Award
Dear Jeff by Callie Ott
The 3rd Annual Soaring Solo Artist Award is presented by Soaring Solo LLC, Jessica Lynn Johnson & the Whitefire Theatre recognizes and celebrates "excellence in solo theatre within the Hollywood Fringe Community." The winner receives an award plaque, along with a spot to perform their winning solo show at the Whitefire Theatre’s SOLOFEST 2020.
Standout Song Award honors "the song at Fringe that we feel represents the 'number one hit' of the festival. The song that we remember as we leave their show and keep thinking about as the festival goes on." The award involves "a fully funded/produced music video of the original song that will be published online."
Steve Kent Award
Earth Stories: Our Climate And Our Future
Steve Kent Award, named after co-founder of the legendary Company Theatre, the late Steve Kent, "is given a piece of theatre that uses their art for to create political or social change within an individual and their community." and a trophy is awarded to the winner.
The Diverse Diva Award is presented by the Los Angeles Women’s Theatre Festival, co-sponsored by City National Bank, and is awarded to a solo female identified artist performing "cabaret, poetry, dance, as a singer-songwriter, vocalist, musician [or] storyteller" selecting one "engaging and unique female identified artist who exemplifies what it means to be a 'Diverse Diva.'" The winner receives a framed award certificate, a performance spot in the LAWTF Wine Down Wednesday event, and a week-long stay at the Writer’s Well International Literary Retreat in Sharpsburg Georgia (including lodging.)
The Golden Key
The show with the highest score will receive The Golden Key, a symbol of the production’s ability to unlock a new world for guests.
The Encore Award
The Encore! Producers Award represents the best of the Hollywood Fringe selected by venue producers, based on artistic merit and commercial potential. The extensions immediately follow the HFF2019 and run through July in participating fringe venues. Shows selected receive extensions "giving them the opportunity for additional audience, press, awards and extensions. Shows receive "at least one performance," following the Hollywood Fringe Festival, in July. Typically extensions are one to two performances, but longer runs are possible and are negotiated between venue and show producer.
The Inkwell Theater Playwright’s Promise Award, presented by the Inkwell Theater Development LAB, recognizes a writer of a Fringe production. The criteria for this fifth annual award is based on the play itself, not necessarily the production. The playwright of the winning production is invited to "participate in a number of special events and reading opportunities throughout our 2019-20 season" and receive a “Golden Pen” statuette.
The Outdoor Voices Festival “conversation Creation” Award
Dear Jeff: A Musical Comedy About Suicide & Domestic Abuse
The Outdoor Voices Festival “conversation Creation” Award honors the show that "encompasses all of the qualifications that make up a brilliant piece of socially relevant theater." The winner of the award receives a statuette and is invited to perform in the "Outdoor Voices Festival, Winter 2019" where a limited number shows are selected each year.
Sponsored by MET Theatre (MET Foundation) The Paul Koslo Memorial/Met theatre Award, in honor of the late MET Theatre founding member Paul Koslo, is given to "outstanding theatre makers who reflect that same bold, creative, and inspirational spirit as was possessed by our beloved Mr. Koslo." The winner receives a statuette, plaque, or "the like" along with "20 Free Rehearsal Hours (a $500 value) at the MET Theatre on the Paul Koslo Stage in the Great Scott space."
Sponsored by They Played Productions, LLC., TPP’s Trope Buster! is awarded to shows that "break the mold," disrupt the medium, and take the "expected roles or stories or themes or tropes of theatre and spin them off the axis into unknown territory." Winners will receive an award created by producer and artist Thea Rivera specifically for this year’s TPP Trope Buster as well as a digital file listing your winning award.
LAFPI's Most Wanted Award
LAFPI's Most Wanted Award is granted in "recognition of the gender parity efforts and achievements by LA Theaters and Fringe Venues, focusing on female-identifying playwrights" and receive a certificate.
The LAFPI Most Wanted Awards:
Assistance League Theatre
Asylum @ McCadden Theatre
Asylum @ Studio C
The Hobgoblin Playhouse at The Arena Stage, Theatre of Arts
The New American Theatre
The New Collective
The Best of Broadwater Award is awarded to a select few Hollywood Fringe productions that have performed at The Broadwater based on "their high level of artistry and excellence." Winners receive a statuette and certificate for their production during the Hollywood Fringe Festival Closing Night Ceremony and are offered an extension at one of The Broadwater’s four stages on Best of Broadwater Weekend July 5th-7th.
EVA PERON BY COPI EN ESPAÑOL
AN YET ANOTHER EVENING WITH THE SISTAHS- UNSUNG SHEROES
LOVE, MADNESS, AND SOMEWHERE IN BETWEEN
IT TAKES TWO: MUSICAL IMPROV WITH PEARCY & BYRNES
The Complex Hollywood
2 FOR 1
ACID WASH LOVE
CAVE GIRL THE MUSICAL
THE COLOR COLLECTIVE
CRACK WHORE, BULIMIC, GIRL-NEXT-DOOR
DEATH AND THE FOOL
IF IT GOES THERE
MY TRANS WIFE
THE NARCISSIST NEXT DOOR
OLIVIA WILDE DOES NOT SURVIVE THE APOCALYPSE
PIT OF GOBLINS
POCKETMON! A PARODY MUSICAL
PRINCESS MAGIC’S TRASH TIME REVUE
SHIVA FOR ANNE FRANK
TALES FROM THE POWDER ROOM
THE MAYOR’S DEBATE OF TRANQUILITY, NEBRASKA
THIS WAY YONDER
VERY GOOD ACTOR: AN ACTING SEMINAR
WHAT I NEVER TOLD YOU
WHY DID THE CHICKEN CROSS THE ROAD?
YES. NO. MAYBE.
AN EXCUSE TO BEHAVE BADLY
CHRISSY METH – A DANCE WITH THE DEVIL AND THE JOURNEY BACK
CORINA, FROM LAP DANCE TO SUNDANCE
HIDE YOUR FIRES: BUTOH LADY MACBETH
A BIT MUCH
IF WE RUN
LEAVING PRINCE CHARMING
BATTER UP! MY BRAIN ON BASEBALL
CRABBE AND GOYLE ARE DEAD
LIFE PLAN, OR LIVING YOUR BEST LIFE IN A COLLAPSING WORLD
THE JOURNEY OF THE LITTLE PRINCE
SILENT JOY, A NEW PLAY
SUGARFREE: FOSTER CARE COGNITIVE DISSONANCE
The Hobgoblin Playhouse at the Arena Stage
EARTH & FIRE WALKING (TIERRA Y FUEGO QUE CAMINA)
SHE KILLS MONSTERS
TABLETOP (THE MUSICAL)
THE BULLY PROBLEM
GUNFIGHT AT THE NOT-SO-OK SALOON
LET’S WRITE A MUSICAL
NO MORE TOYS
STRAIGHT WHITE MEN TRYING TO WOKE
NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND.
Stephanie Feury Studio Theatre
BUNNY THE ELF LIVE!
OUT OF THE BLUE
RAISED BY WOLVES
SORRY ABOUT MY FRIEND
SWIPE RIGHT: THE MUSICAL
THANK YOU FOR LOVING ME
THE HUMAN[OID] EXPERIENCE
ASK A BLACK WOMAN
DANDY DARKLY’S ALL ABOARD!
DEAR JEFF: A MUSICAL COMEDY ABOUT SUICIDE & DOMESTIC ABUSE
DOUBLE FEATURE: THE ORIGINAL ENGLISH & MURDERFUCK
I AM NOT A MAN
JAMBA JUICE: THE MUSICAL
MORAL FIXATION (ORIGINALLY TITLED BOYS
WILL BE BOYS)
ONE HUMP HEART
SPEAK I WILL: A FRACTURED SHAKESPEARE
SUPPORTIVE WHITE PARENTS
THE LAST POWERPOINT
THE ONE-MAN IMPROVISED MUSICAL
ALL OUR PRETTY SONGS
Soaring Solo Artist Award Squeeze My Cans by Cathy Schenkelberg
Dear Jeff by Callie Ott
Mr. Yunioshi by Jonathan Cho Mandy Picks A Husband by Amanda Broomell
The One-Man Improvised Musical by Conor Hanney
The Hollywood Fringe Festival is celebrating its 10th year this year and opens today, Thursday, June 13, 2019.
Annually, for the month of June, this unique "open and uncensored" non-profit theatre festival occupies Hollywood's Theatre Row, and many more adjacent venues and spaces in the Hollywood and Media District areas. Per the non-profit's site, this "open-access, community-derived event celebrating freedom of expression and collaboration in the performing arts community" can be found in parks, community centers, churches, clubs, restaurants" housing a wide variety of productions created by new individual producers, seasoned production companies, member-fueled theatre companies and residencies, and a variety of other independent self-producers–both locally and from all over the world.
This year, there are nearly 400 participating shows, most of which are also registered on the Better Lemons Calender. Here are a few shows, opening this week and next, that talked with Better Lemons about their shows.
Vivi Thai, producer and actress of "She Kills Monsters," spoke with Monique LeBleu of Better Lemons at The BLACK bar and lounge at the Hollywood Fringe Festival Office Hours mixer on May 22, 2019.
Chris Bunyi & Matt Robinson of "Olivia Wilde Does Not Survive the Apocalypse" spoke with Monique LeBleu of Better Lemons at The BLACK bar and lounge at the Hollywood Fringe Festival Office Hours mixer on May 22, 2019.
Ross spoke with Better Lemons about the new piece and what he’s been involved with since we saw him last.
Better Lemons: What have you been up to since the 2017 Fringe? Ross John Gosla: Wow, hard to believe it's been two years. Been keeping busy. I did a short run of Desert Warrior in January 2018, followed by a couple of one act plays. I was brought on staff full-time at the Complex Hollywood, where Monica Martin and team have been working at full speed to improve and renovate since she took over ownership last year.
I filmed an episode of the web series The Wasteland, in which I played a captured insurgent in a dystopian future. I shot a big commercial at the beginning of this year directed by an Academy Award-winner (NDA). Most recently, I provided the narration for the documentary Masculinity that Inspires Change that dropped on Amazon Prime this past May.
BL: Tell us a bit about the new piece. What was the inspiration? RJG: The piece follows a privileged straight white male named "Ross" as he goes on an adventure through the Man Make Machine in order to become a real man in 2019. When the Weinstein scandal broke, I found myself quickly saying, "But I'm not like that," as I’m sure many men did. And we men tended to vocalize that sentiment loudly.
But as the narrative evolved, a resounding female voice said: "Shut up and let this play out." And as it did, the moment of epiphany came. I asked myself if there were any areas of sexual violation that I have committed, any lines crossed, any boundaries not respected. And in that introspection, I found a myriad of unchecked behavior — behavior that in a different set of life circumstances could very well lead to a Weinstein-esque persona.
From there, I applied the same formula I used with Desert Warrior. I took that behavior I revealed and a couple other seemingly unrelated events (my Taekwondo years, and a couple of key conversations with my Dad), put them into the brain mixer, and here we are!
BL: Your director, Steph Martinez, is a Fringe first-timer. What’s her background? RJG: She is a blessing from Heaven. We met at the theater program at Arizona State in 2007. A similar training style — the program primarily utilizes Viewpoints as a tool to train actors and devise new work. We reconnected here in LA and are part of the same acting studio, Studio 24/7. A brilliant actress and artist, she has masterfully shaped the piece and kept me truthful in the work with insightful notes and questions. Most importantly, she has brought a perspective that is crucial to any conversation dealing with improving gender relations.
BL: What message do you hope to deliver with this piece? RJG: Understanding and healing. I believe there are certain unifying male experiences that all men share. I'd like to think that if the show causes one other man to honestly examine his "gray areas," and he comes to recognize those times when he may not have actually had consent. Or he was false with his intentions, and learns from those mistakes and can foster a higher ideal in the future, that would be a powerful message indeed.
BL: How does it feel to be back at the Fringe as a performer? RJG: I love the Fringe, it's my absolute favorite time of the year. You meet so many like-minded artists and make so many new friends. The electricity in the air is palpable — this year especially. All the participants seem extra pumped!
BL: What words of advice would you give to Fringe neophytes? RJG:Dive in headfirst, have fun, hydrate, rest when needed; rinse and repeat.
Sexual Misadventures of a Straight White Male: A Privilege Story plays June 14-
29 at the Complex Hollywood’s Flight Theatre, 6472 Santa Monica Blvd. Specific dates and showtimes, as well as ticketing information, can be found on the Fringe site.
Making his Fringe debut this year is Thomas Wortham, the writer, producer and director of An American Video Store, set in one of the titular establishments that barely exist anymore.
In the midst of beginning a new job and preparing his show for the Fringe, Mr. Wortham still found the time to talk to Better Lemons.
Better Lemons: What was the inspiration behind this piece? Personal experience? Thomas Wortham: I don't know how it works now, but in the ‘90s kids would just hang out at various retail locations, whether it be the mall, an arcade or — in my case — a video store. I got hooked at a young age by my mom's VHS collection and it just never stopped. There was a Blockbuster up the street from my house that I practically grew up in. I also worked at a Hollywood Video Store in college, which was an awesome and terrible experience all at the same time. I always wanted to write some form of this story and the mistake I always made was trying to make the plot about the actual downfall of the video store business. Something in the vein of Empire Records, where it was all about saving the store.
I finally felt I had unlocked the idea when I realized the story had to be about the characters and allow the business aspects to simply act as a foundation for what was happening.
BL: Any parallels with Clerks - which, of course, would be a perfect connection? TW: It is so funny you ask this. OF COURSE Clerks and Kevin Smith are a massive influence on myself and the play. In fact, just two nights ago I attended his Fatman Beyond podcast taping in Hollywood. They do a Q&A at the end and I was able to get up and ask a question wearing a shirt that had my play's logo on it.
Kevin is so generous with folks promoting their stuff, and with his connection to video stores, he immediately asked me about my shirt and insisted I plug all aspects of my play before and after me asking my question. It was incredible. He also had some nice things to say about the Fringe, which was cool.
But in terms of the mechanics of the play, it was crucial that the script had scenes that allowed the characters to wax intellectual about movies. Very similar to how Dante and Randal talk about Star Wars in Clerks, or how Brodie and T.S. talk about Superman in Mallrats. And you know just how shitty jobs really have an impact on how our lives play out, when we are young can, whether we recognize it or not in the moment.
BL: What does (or did) the video store symbolize in American culture? TW: I think that more than anything the video store era just represented a communal experience that sadly is the biggest thing missing when you select something through a streaming service. I'm sure the algorithms that Netflix uses are very sophisticated, but the way an organic conversation with customers and clerks could lead you down such interesting and unexpected paths was something I think is impossible to replicate.
BL: Briefly, what’s the show about? How will it resonate with audiences? TW: Taking place over three pivotal moments in the history of the American video store, our intimate story of clerks and customers examines the rise and fall of a cultural phenomenon that defined a generation. The show is an hour long - with the goal being a funny, emotional and nostalgic trip down memory lane for anyone who has ever enjoyed the experience of going to a video store to pick out a movie.
BL: Can you tell us a bit about the cast? TW: My girlfriend Aidan Rees is our lead and is also a producer. She is an incredibly talented actoress who is a regular at Second City. I'm always blown away by her ability to be such a versatile performer. Going from improv to sketch to everything scripted can be challenging for anyone to execute. We found our second lead, Jeff Coppage, through a self-tape. He has the uncanny ability to add flavor to dialogue that wasn't intended as a joke, and all of a sudden I'm laughing my ass off. So damn unique and funny.
Kristin Morris is a close friend of mine and an extremely accomplished actor. I saw her in West Side Story at Musical Theatre West in Long Beach and I always knew I would love to write a part that would be brought to life by her amazing talents. Antoine Dillard, Misao McGregor and Angelique Maurnaé were all actors that Aidan had worked with before. While I was not familiar with their work, they have all knocked it out of the park and made their characters jump off the page in a way I never could have imagined.
BL: Is this your first Fringe experience? Or have you attended in previous years, either as an audience member or talent? TW:First time Fringer in every capacity. I am so excited and thankful to be exposed to this brand new weird world.
BL: What other shows intrigue you at #hff19? TW:Lots of shows that are also at Stephanie Feury look great. I have had the chance to meet the creators of George. and Treason so I look forward to seeing those. The ladies who are putting on 2 for 1 seem to be cooking up something unique. An Excuse to Behave Badly sounds like a really smart and fun concept. I am intrigued by the ambitious premise of She Kills Monsters. I am sure there are plenty more I would love to see but honestly those are some of the folks who I have met at office hours that caught my eye.
I look forward to a Fringe year when I can be just an attendee and have more time to learn about other shows instead of focusing so much on ours.
BL: Finally, have you made the trek to the last remaining Blockbuster in Bend, Oregon? TW:I have not. I would love to. Fortunately, there are a handful of video stores still operating in the LA area that I have gone to recently to help inspire the show. In particular, Cinefile Video in Santa Monica made me feel at home, so if any of this conversation makes you miss the experience, go check ‘em out and show them some love!
An American Video Store plays June 9-29 at the Stephanie Feury Studio
Theatre, 5636 Melrose Avenue. Specific dates, show times and ticketing
information can be found on the Fringe site.
Lemon Butter is a bi-monthly column featuring choice restaurants, lounges, Happy Hours, and other spots where hospitality is offered, that are convenient to theatre venues throughout Los Angeles. For distances and times given traffic and parking are not factored in. Where available, contact all hospitality venues for valet or parking information and/or reservations.
https://twitter.com/LemonadeLA/status/1086329199403528194 The counter-service restaurant features a variety of salads, sandwiches, bowls, and hot entrées–items like a Curry Apple Chicken Salad with whole grain mustard & golden raisins, Thai Chicken Meatballs in green curry sauce, a Roasted Mango Chicken with sautéed kale & seasonal vegetables, served over warm, seasoned white or brown rice, or a spicy Pineapple Chicken Green Bean with toasted coconut, jalapeños & jerk dressing.
There are Asian-inspired bowls, like the Ahi Tuna Avocado with ahi tuna, avocado, radish, tangerine, and sesame served over warm, seasoned white or brown rice. served with ginger, shallots, seaweed, & furikake or the Thai Ginger Salmon sweet soy-ginger salmon poke with Thai peanut noodles, served with ginger, shallots, seaweed, & furikake. Sandwiches such as a Turkey ‘El Tijuana’ with jicama slaw, queso fresco, avocado, pickled jalapeños, and jalapeño aioli.
The Classic Mac and Cheese and Avocado and Cherry Tomato salad at Lemonade in Larchmont Village. Photo by Monique A. LeBleu.
Lemonade also has an assortment of vegetarian hot and cold items, such as a Tomato & Mozzarella sandwich with basil, pesto, and balsamic or a Classic Grilled Cheese with aged cheddar cheese, the Grilled Artichoke Asparagus with snap peas, manchego, arugula, pine nuts, & lemon artichoke vinaigrette, Curried Cauliflower with golden raisins & almonds, New Mexican Chili Roasted Butternut Squash with white corn, lime corn nuts, & scallion ranch dressing vegetarian, or Beet Couscous with red onion, baby spinach, goat cheese, dill, & creamy herb dressing.
For vegans, a Snap Pea Edamame with Watermelon Radish, Carrots, & Sesame Vinaigrette, Avocado Cherry Tomato with pine nuts & lime-cilantro vinaigrette, kale farro, or Red Kale Quinoa with sunomono vegetables, gala apple, colored cauliflower, scallions, & white miso vinaigrette, and a Southwest Vegan Chili with zucchini, squash, red beans.
Lemonade - 626 N Larchmont Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90004 – (323) 464-0700
Cozy for brunch, in time for Pride Month, and nearest the Marilyn Monroeat Lee Strasberg, McCadden Place Theatre,LGBT Center, and just a short jaunt from Theatre Row, the WeHo Bistro starts the day right with an eye-opener like Wicked Bloody Mary or an endless Mimosa to pair with brunch items such a Croissant French Toast made with a fresh croissant dipped in eggs and butter, grilled, then topped with homemade caramel sauce and whipped cream, or their Croque Madame, a French-style sandwich made with ham and melted Emmental Swiss cheese on grilled brioche bread with a sunny side up organic egg on top.
For a leisurely dinner, start with their French Onion Soup dripping with melted and toasted Emmental Swiss cheese and homemade croutons, a French Pate Platter with pork rillette, duck pâté with pistachio, chicken liver pâté and pâté de champagne, or Lamb Sliders prepared with cucumber, lettuce, tzatziki, feta cheese and onions. For sample entrées, there's a Genoa Pasta made with jumbo tiger shrimp sautéed in garlic and olive oil and tossed with spaghetti al dente in a creamy pesto sauce or a Bacon Wrapped Filet Mignon with Peppercorn Sauce comprised of an 8oz Prime Grade Angus Filet Mignon topped with tiny onion rings and served with potatoes Dauphinoise and tomato Provençal.
And for a quick cocktail between shows, you can have a kiki with Jerry’s Kiki cocktail made with Redemption Bourbon Whiskey, or a gild the lily with a WeHo Bistro’s signature Gold Blend, egg white, lemon with gold flakes on top.
Gallery photos by Velvet Media & Marketing.
WeHo Bistro - 1040 North La Cienega Boulevard, West Hollywood, CA 90069 - (310) 657-9696
The restaurant and full bar features a Happy Hour from 4 -7 p.m. daily, and brunch on Saturdays and Sundays, lunch and dinner.
Several unique and Traditional Peruvian dishes are offered such as the Mixto ceviche cocktail, to start, of striped bass, shrimp, octopus, squid, lime juice, onions, choclo – a giant Peruvian corn, and rocoto – a spicy chili pepper. For entrées, there's the Lomo Saltado – a sauteed beef filet with onion, tomato, Lee Kum Kee sauce, Kennebec fries, and rice on the side, the Sudado De Pescado – a poached Mediterranean Sea Bream with tomatoes, cilantro, chives, onions, chicha de jora – a Peruvian corn beverage, the Clasico Striped bass with lime juice, onions, choclo, and rocoto pepper, an Agnolotti De Seco – a homemade ravioli stuffed with lamb, cilantro beer sauce, finished with rocoto aioli, or a traditional Arroz Con Pollo of chicken confit, cilantro rice, salsa criolla, and creamy huancaina sauce.
Los Balcones also has a few vegetarian dishes. To start, there's a Baby Kale Salad with gooseberries, red radish, red apples, walnuts parmesan cheese, and lemon vinegar. Then, for entrées, the Solterito De Quinoa with quinoa, queso fresco, choclo, fava beans, heirloom carrots, cherry tomatoes, red wine vinegar dressing, or the Coliflor A La Nortena – a pan-seared cauliflower with cilantro sauce.
For dessert, the Picarones, a Peruvian sweet potato beignet, tropical fruit syrup or a Chicha Morada, a traditional Peruvian beverage made from purple corn & spices.
Los Balcones - 1360 Vine Street, Los Angeles, CA - (323) 871-9600
Distance to The Broadwater - 0.4 miles via Santa Monica (10 min. walk/1-3 min. drive)
800 DEGREES/SUNSET & VINYL
Within walking distance to The Montaban and the Pantages is 800 Degrees in the Sunset + Vine mall. The street-level restaurant has indoor and outdoor seating with a dog-friendly "Bark Park" patio. Also, tucked away upstairs above the restaurant, is Sunset and Vinyl, a cozy speakeasy bar that features you-pick-and-play-it vinyl. The bar is a warm and comfortable, circa 1970s, living room-style atmosphere, complete with window views that looks upon one of the city's most famous intersections.
800 Degrees makes hand-stretched, wood-fired Old World pizzas, sandwiches, salads, and Rotisserie Chicken served with their signature sauces and a host of sides, such as Roasted fingerling potatoes, Brussels sprouts, hummus, farm Greens, and Quinoa Tabbouleh.
There are six different “in-house” sauces made to accompany their roasted chicken – the Peruvian Jalapeno-Cilantro Sauce (reminiscent of a Peruvian "Aji" sauce) made with jalapeños, cilantro, lime, mayo and garlic, a Barbecue Sauce, a Tahini Sauce of tahini paste, garlic and olive oil, the Spicy Tomato of uncooked Roma tomatoes, garlic, olive oil and Calabrian Chile, and the Calabrian Chile Aioli includes with the Italian chilis blended with herbs, spices and aioli, and the Piri Piri Sauce – a blend of citrus, chilis, garlic, onion, herbs and olive oil.
The local-made Burrata cheese makes a good starter and is served with the Cherry Tomato & Pesto, the Prosciutto & Strawberry or the Beets & Balsamic.
There a several signature pizzas to order from, such as the Quattro Formaggi – their “Bianca” with mozzarella, smoked provolone, gorgonzola & fontina, finished with wildflower honey, a BBQ with rotisserie chicken, BBQ sauce, smoked provolone, peppadews, red onions, and cilantro, a Tartufo of a Bianco with truffled pecorino, wild mushrooms, roasted garlic, and arugula, or a Prosciutto & Burrata – a lassic Margherita topped with Prosciutto di Parma and local burrata.
Gallery photos by Monique A. LeBleu.
Or you can make a custom pizza from a large selection of unique toppings, such as Bianca pizza with butternut squash and caramelized onions or a Margherita topped with sun-dried tomatoes, mushrooms and roasted garlic. Good for keeping away the vampires!
They also has a selection of beer and wine for the inside and patio dining.
Sunset & Vinyl has craft cocktails such as the Master Cleanse of gin, ginger, carrot and lemon or a Dance or Die with Mezcal, pineapple, Aperol, and lemon, and a daily Happy Hour from 6 - 8 p.m. with $5 well drinks and draft beer and $6 for a glass of wine.
Making her Fringe debut this year is singer, actor and Los Angeles native Victoria Gordon, who is bringing her cabaret show to the Complex in Hollywood. The piece, entitled Victoria Gordon — Live at the Hollywood Fringe, is a combination of musical performance and comedy.
In anticipation of her upcoming appearance, Ms. Gordon spoke with Better Lemons about her show and her all-around Fringe experience.
Better Lemons: You performed this show before, right? What’s different about this Fringe production? Victoria Gordon: I did perform a version of this show before — in September 2018 at the Broad in Santa Monica. But I knew that wasn’t the finished version. As soon as I got the video of that show back, I started taking notes to figure out what I liked and what I didn’t. And I used that to refresh and expand my repertoire, which also led me to write new monologues. At the end of the day, while some of the songs are the same, almost everything around them is different.
BL: And the music… How were the pieces selected? VG: Everything came to me differently. I love musicals and listen to cast albums all the time, so sometimes, a song just hits me and I think, “I have to sing that!” That’s how the song “Another Round,” from Bright Star, ended up in the show - I was at the Ahmanson, watching the cast perform it, and I just knew I had to do it. Others are old favorites, like “It Might As Well Be Spring,” or characters I’ve dreamed of playing, like Mabel Normand in Mack and Mabel (that’s how I wound up with “Wherever He Ain’t,” one of Mabel’s big moments). And then there are the songs I never imagined singing, but someone else suggested and I quickly realized that they were right. “I Am What I Am” is one I never saw myself performing, but my sister told me I had to give it a try, and now it’s a cornerstone of my act — thanks, Natalie!
BL: How about the band? Did they accompany you in last year’s show? VG: Two out of three, yes! I met my Musical Director-slash-drummer, Sam Webster, through two contacts: my arranger and a studio musician I trust. They both recommended Sam, so I contacted him and we hit it off right away. He brought in both my bass player, Chelsea Stevens, and pianist, Adam Bravo. Adam is new for this show. He wasn’t available in the fall, but I’m a huge fan already!
BL: Is this your first time at the Fringe? How are you enjoying the experience? VG:This is my first Fringe as a participant. I had no idea what to expect going in, but I’m really thrilled to be part of it! I’ve met so many incredible people and learned so much about theater and performance. This is such a great and inclusive community.
BL: What makes “Live” a good fit for the Fringe? What can audiences expect? VG: My show is a throwback. I’ve been describing it lately as an “old-school nightclub act,” back in the day when lounge singers were off-duty Broadway performers. It’s not something that many people my age do anymore, but it’s the only music I’ve ever wanted to sing, and I think Fringe audiences are used to less-than-expected offerings.
Audiences can expect to laugh a lot — usually with me, but sometimes at me—and to hear showtunes they know and love (or maybe a few they don’t know yet!). It’s also just a fun show. I modeled it after Bernadette Peters and Jane Krakowski’s shows, and what I love about them is that they’re just enjoyable shows, filled with entertaining stories and great songs. Nothing too dramatic or depressing; it’s a lighthearted but still touching show.
BL: Tell us a bit about your background. VG: I grew up in Los Angeles, as did both of my parents, so all of my grandparents were very active in my childhood. My mom’s family was all musical; my dad’s family worked in TV comedy. Both sides were very accomplished, so I got to see what it really takes to be successful in music or entertainment. I grew up playing the violin, but later switched to singing, and haven’t looked back since! I always wanted to be an actress and singer, and got into writing in my teens. I started producing comedic film and TV projects for Amazon while still in college, and post-college, that became my full-time job. But when the opportunity to stage a solo cabaret came up, I jumped at the chance, and Victoria Gordon Live was born. It’s been a great way to put everything I know — performance, production, and live events — into practice at once.
BL: Since the Fringe is a collaboration, what other shows intrigue you? VG: So many! I have a folder filled with sixty-ish Fringe flyers and they all sound like great shows. I am especially excited for Bunny the Elf, because Christi Pedigo has brought so much sunshine to Fringe this year; Leaving Prince Charming, because Lara Repko’s story is so personal and moving; and Batter Up! My Brain on Baseball, because the idea of a baseball trivia show is just so Fringe.
Victoria Gordon — Live at the Hollywood Fringe plays June 6 (preview) through June 27 at the Complex Hollywood’s OMR Theatre, 6468 Santa Monica Blvd. Information and ticketing can be obtained on the Fringe site.
After taking 2018 off, the award-winning improv musical comedy troupe Robot Teammate is making a welcome return to this year’s Fringe with Pockets, a brand-new production.
Kat Primeau, Robot Teammate member and producer, co-writer, choreographer and co-star of Pockets, was happy to speak with Better Lemons about the troupe’s Fringe comeback and the new show.
Better Lemons: Tell us a bit about the genesis of Pockets. Kat Primeau: Robot Teammate completed our "T-Trilogy" of musicals (Timeheart, Thug Tunnel and Turbulence!) with an off-Broadway run at SoHo Playhouse in 2017. After that, we had been joking about doing a "P-Trilogy," with Perm, a parody in the realm of Hair, when Dave [Reynolds] pitched a story about "Pockets, a young female thief." We thought it could be a perfect vehicle for Molly [Dworsky] to star in, and our story grew from there. We actually wrote songs and a script for the first version of Pockets that got completely thrown out, but we love the story now and hope it will be our funniest, most touching tale yet!
BL: What about the music? Was it a collaborative effort? KP: Everything about a Robot Teammate musical is collaborative, and each song has a different origin story. Our musical director and teammate, Branson NeJame, has crafted a beautiful theme for the kingdom of Crumpeton and shaped every improvised and demo'd idea with loving attention. Some songs were lyric-driven, whereas others were inspired by a melody. Others are hammered out through many rounds and rewrites and deliberate arrangement. It's quite different than what we are used to as musical improvisers, so we always relish the songwriting process.
BL: Since it’s a period piece, what style — or styles — is the music? And how were the sets and costuming created? KP: Aside from a bardic tone, the music is modern. Branson has been inspired by ELO to create a fusion of pop, rock, disco and classical music, with a little tango and reggae thrown in. Our production elements are limited to due to the nature of 15-minute Fringe load-ins, and our costumes are a mishmash of borrowed period pieces and modern basics. The book and lyrics go a long way in filling out our world, so we are able to leave room for the imagination.
BL: Who’s playing whom? KP: Pockets stars Molly Dworsky as Bellamina Crumbledunk, the precocious thirteen-year-old daughter of The Duchess of Crumpeton, Winifred Dolores Crumbledunk, played by me. When Bellamina rebels against her mother, she enters society's underbelly and befriends the mischievous crook, Veegan (Chris Bramante). Dave Reynolds rounds out our main cast as Town Crier — Rob Crier, The Clutch to the Duch — Barkly St. Piggins, and the revolutionary Jim Val Jim. We also have an ensemble cast of friends joining us again this year.
BL: What can audiences expect when they attend the show? What makes Pockets a good fit for the Hollywood Fringe? KP: We are lucky to have an incredible live band led by Branson NeJame on keys, Harrison Lee on cello, trombone, and guitar, Chris Sousa on bass, and Sam Kirsch on drums, so expect the music to be completely original and totally rockin'! The British-ish world we've built together is charming and wacky and fast-paced, so audiences may experience deep belly laughs and perhaps even a bit of "The Feelz."
We have a dynamic female protagonist and a fresh take on the mother-daughter story, so we hope to present a thoroughly modern piece of musical theater that delights and truly does us justice as writers and content creators. We have poured our hearts and lives into this musical, and we believe there's something for everyone — woman or man, young or old — to fall in love with.
Molly Dworsky, Kat Primeau, Dave Reynolds, Branson NeJame and Chris Bramante are Robot Teammate in POCKETS - photo by Dave Newberg
BL: It’s been a couple of years since Turbulence!. What has Robot Teammate been up to? KP: Robot Teammate spent 2017 working on Turbulence!, taking home awards for Best Musical, Best World Premiere, A Little New Music’s Outstanding Songwriting and Better Lemon’s Critics' Choice at Hollywood Fringe before traveling to NYC to do an Off-Broadway run at the historic SoHo Playhouse. It was an exhilarating and exhausting endeavor, and finding a way to follow up our success hasn't been easy. We've kept up our improvised musical performances at venues like Westside Comedy and Impro Studio Theatre, and recorded some podcast material we may or may not release.
Personally, I lost my dad to a bewildering form of early-onset dementia known as Frontotemporal Degeneration, wrote a children's book for my niece, and recorded an album with my band, Sumeau. We've had all manner of life experiences pop up since then, and two of our teammates left our collective to focus on their solo projects, so we really just took the time to regroup and refine the kind of stories we want to spend time scripting and bringing into the world. Each musical is an intensive, collaborative labor of love, so we didn't want to rush things.
BL: What keeps you coming back to the Fringe? KP: Fringe is an incredible breeding ground for creativity, and the energy around new works is unparalleled in LA. Since 2015, we've devoted our Junes to this community, and the payoff has been incredible. We love the artists we meet, the connections we make, the fun we have, the shows we see, and the feedback we receive. It is such a stark contrast from any improv festival we've been a part of, and there's truly nothing like the deadline of Opening Night to really light a fire under our butts and make an idea come to fruition.
BL: What other shows are you interested in seeing at the Fringe? KP: I am so stoked to see Four Clowns returning to HFF with a new show, Shakedown at the Dusty Spur!! There are several new shows promising badass women from medieval times, so we will definitely be checking those out. The Duchess & The Stripper, 45 Milligrams, Earth To Karen, Hamiltunes, and Tabletop Musical are all on my must-see list this year.
Pockets plays June 15-29 at The Broadwater, 1076 Lillian Way. Ticketing
information and specific dates and showtimes can be obtained on the Fringe site.